Major new initiative launched to combat cyber bullying

13 May 2009

By The Record

Choicez Australia launches new lifeline to children at risk of cyber cullying.                       


Photo: CNS


RESPONDING to the rapid rise of cyber bullying and Internet safety issues impacting children and teenagers, an Australian Catholic media company has released a comprehensive DVD and Internet video resource to change young people’s online habits for the better.
Entitled Cyber Survivor, the program was developed in partnership with a Sydney legal firm specialising in duty-of-care issues for schools after noticing a rapid rise in serious harassment and cyber bullying issues caused by student’s use of Internet and mobile phones.
As well as modules for students and staff, the program has been made available to parents free of charge over the Internet through web-video chapters and free downloadable manuals.
Jonathan Doyle, Canberra-based co-founder with his wife Karen of Choicez Media, the company behind the program, said it was a result of large numbers of schools asking for resources helping them to deal with ‘cyber bullying’.
“In the past, one of the only positives about schoolyard bullying was that it stopped at 3pm,” Mr Doyle said.
“With cyber bullying via mobile phones, the posting of embarrassing photographs and exclusion from social networking sites, we are seeing a whole new range of serious issues, such as the fact that a young person can be victimised 24 hours per day, seven days a week.
“Another of the big problems is helping schools and parents understand their duty-of-care and other legal responsibilities.”
The program has been offered to Federal and State education departments and has also been quickly snapped up by independent schools grappling with the changing landscape of technology and how to best help students develop safe and respectful online behaviours, both on campus and at home.
Cyber survivor targets parents, students and staff.
“In the past, when a school tried to address a key issue by including parents, they would run a Parent Night and cross their fingers that parents would turn up,” Mr Doyle said.
With Cyber Survivor, Choicez Media gave schools unique access codes to pass on to their parents, which allow each parent to view the video and access the manuals from their home or office computer.
A partner at Integroe Legal, the law firm partnering on the project, said that every child has the right to feel safe.
“Cyber Survivor helps parents and educators provide a concise, consistent and clear message about the kinds of school communities we want to build and strengthen,” the partner said.
For more information phone (02) 6273 4608 or email